I know I haven’t blogged in so long but I thought I would share this heart felt story to you and the entire world. What I love about what I do is that I get to be up close and personal with the customers that fly on the planes. Prior, I wasn’t able to do it as much, I meant I could, but it wasn’t as personal nor did not have the opportunity to get to know the people, and when I did, it was with little time, because I was always pressured working on the ground that I had no time. And most of you that know me very well, I’m a huge people person and I love to meet new people. Being a flight attendant i’m able to do that.
Last week with my flight crew, I was sitting in the gate area in New York on our way to St. Louis, the flight we were working. We met a family from Pennsylvania who was traveling all the way to Little Rock. There was a grandmother, mother, and a little guy named Rocco, who was 7 years. The mother kept telling how she admired what we do and how heart warming flight attendants are, which was comforting. We obliged, appreciated the thought. We then asked where they were headed, and they stated that they were taking Rocco to have surgery. There was a specialist in Little Rock that they would go see to treat his AVM (arteriovenous malformation) that he has on his lip. This would be his 12th surgery at only 7 years old, which made my heart drop.
While on the plane I had conversations with them, and Rocco happened to be a HUGE 49er fan, which I am. We did not talk much about his surgery the next day but from the looks of it he was ready, calm and a warrior going into it.
As much as I wanted to do more and help the family out I was able to do little gestures for him. I had this lighted pen that I bought because when I usually take orders on the plane and couldn’t see, I would use that pen. I gave that to him, and he loved it. He was able to take photos in the flight deck with the pilots and got to see what’s up there. I also got along with the family very well, his grandmother, Carol, and I were making jokes and having fun conversation while in the air.
We were running late going to St. Louis from New York, and because of that they had to change planes in St. Louis and had little time to connect on their way to Little Rock. Long story short, they made it to Little Rock.
Before the flight reached St. Louis and we had to go our separate ways I exchanged email addresses and hospital information with the mother, Amy. Rocco was treated at the Arkansas Children’s hospital in Little Rock. I called the hospital the next day and was able to send him a little gift the gift shop chose for me.
Amy emailed me two days later and mentioned to me that his surgery was a successful one and Rocco is recovering very well.
I know I’m not a healer, or could not donate a lot of money or time in the world, but being able to do the littlest things and getting to know the people that fly can truly make someones day, it for sure can make mine. Even though Rocco’s surgery was successful, he still has the road ahead for recovery and hopefully is healed from such a disease. I ask that each and everyone one of you pray for my new friends Rocco and his family. Thanks for letting me share this.
The past year my mentality was ruined, I was depressed, and I needed to change everything around. I’ve been on a little dry spell when it came to traveling internationally so i needed somewhere to go. I was talking to a friend of mine and I told her that I wanted to go somewhere quick. She gave me two options. So I decided on Milan, Italy. But going to Milan made it more difficult for me to head out that way so I needed another option. My mind was still on Italy so I chose to go to Rome.
I’ve been to Rome before and I had a blast. However it was only one full day at that time, and a friend that went with us basically, well let’s just say that friendship no longer exists. This time around I got to spend 4 days in ROMA, and I was able to take it all in. My cousin who now resides in Berlin came to meet up with me for a full day which made it worth while since I haven’t seen him in about a year since we only have a text and social media relationship. I went more on his itinerary which was perfectly fine since he had so little time to spend. What better way of catching up and seeing family in Rome.
This second time around I was able to walk around Rome by foot. And if you’ve been, it was NOT easy. The city is huge, and yes I did walk around most of the time. The majority is made up of ancient ruins and ancient churches which the Colosseum and the Vatican are probably the most famous known landmarks in the world.
I’m not big on history, but I love reading and learning about it because this is why this world is where it is in the present. I’m not going to go too much on it and i’m no history geek, but from my understanding a lot of european history came from the rise and fall of the roman empire. But from what I know Ancient Rome controlled most of Europe as far as up to the middle east. But with a lot of taxes and border control it became more difficult to govern which is why the split of the western and eastern empire. Different empires, Christianity became big, migration, Barbarian invasion, which lead to the Fall of Rome. Because of the fall of the Roman empire, the city of Rome would not become so enriching of it’s history and why this city is probably one of the most beautiful cities in the world.
When it came to visiting Rome my second time around I looked back on the past couple of years. Two years ago, I had this travel bug, and wanted to go everywhere, so I started “Ray Takes Over The World” since I wanted to title my travel life and blog about it. But traveling became so much more than just wanting to go out and explore, it became therapy. And if you kept up with my blog, a year ago it became addicting. And I did not want to have to wait on people so I decided to start traveling solo. With dealing with having no one to really turn to and a loss in the family I just wanted to keep getting away knowing that it wasn’t real, but it was. One of the many aspects we have to deal with life and we learn from them.
We travel to get away from reality but it started turning into coming into terms of life and who I am. I got to see my cousin who I truly adore and never get to see because we’re on opposite sides of the globe. But when he left I was on my own for 2 days. Family is always first. When you travel alone in a different city, you go home becoming stronger and looking at life differently in a better way. My mentality became somewhat ruin and Rome consists of many ancient ruins, which is a gift and a road to transformation. Just like the fall of the Roman empire, the city still went on and if you haven’t been but seen pictures, then there are no words to describe. I’m still working on myself. I’m living my life as if it was the last day. Every act I do I try to make it the last act. And what i’ve learned is I need to take a moment to pause and remember who I am and taking the time to reflect on things that have real and lasting meaning in my life. And that’s what “Ray Takes Over The World” has done for me. Still Doing Me …
*thank you everyone for allowing me to share my journey with you. Grazie – Amore*
The minute the clock strikes midnight morning of March 8, my phone blows up with text messages and even a call from my parents. I didn’t answer or even reply back, and just put my phone on silent so I can at least get some sleep. This year hasn’t been the greatest and all I wanted was to get my 10k run for the Susan G Komen race for the cure that was coming up that weekend, which I signed up for months prior, otherwise I would’ve been somewhere exotic the day of my birthday so I can spend it alone.
A year ago I had a huge birthday. I planned it big. I flew people I had close ties with from around the country to celebrate with. I was surrounded by people who I thought were my friends. Since it fell on a Sunday, I had that typical Los Angeles “Sunday Funday” where you would go have brunch and needed that mimosa or bloody mary for pre-game, followed by a club lounge that had a DJ and of course plenty of drinks that was being handed to me without hesitation. I’ve always pictured a huge birthday, and that’s how I planned it last year. But little did I know, more than half of these people that came to my birthday last year I do not even talk to anymore. I had to purposely cut them off due to certain circumstances, however I did briefly mention is in previous blogs. I realized that these people were fake to begin with, artificial, and only wanted to become friends to get what they want. Because of this I started to lose trust and became a little depressed, not because of losing them as friends but because of how the situation occurred. When one person likes to brain wash other people and use them as minions, then that is fine. Go ahead and be a follower and live that way.
Within this year, my sister’s cancer did come back and luckily everything turned out ok. However, my cousin passed away Christmas night. Long story short they found a tumor in her brain, went into operation and doctors messed up. It took a toll on my family, especially during the holidays. Heartbreaking on how much I really wanted to be there for them when I couldn’t because they were thousands of miles away. I felt alone. I felt lost and really could not turn to anyone when I was stuck in my room in Los Angeles, just empty. I did talk for my sister for a bit but I did not want her to hear my pain so I cut her off short. I really felt like I could not reach out to anyone because crying out for help in my part I did not think would work. These other people I thought who were my friends did it, and I was there for them in a heartbeat. Divorces, relationship break ups, surgery in the hospital, my ass was there the minute they needed it. But when a family member was sick or a death in the family occurs, I did not have anyone. Alone.
With the fallout of the fakes I traveled a lot more. I been to places I never thought I’d go or wouldn’t have thought I would make an effort to go to. I went skydiving to release it all out, I tried to go to exotic places to just get my mind at ease and to just clear it. I’m doing races for breast cancer in honor of my sister not only to raise money but to raise awareness for women and men to get checked. It helped a lot. But my blood boils and anxiety occurs when I think of it until this day. But it’s ok because I didn’t realize how much of a stronger person I am today than I was last year. I’m a very sensitive person, I put my heart into everything and I got used. I just have to fight the pain in order to get through it. The pain emotional pain that I go through is nothing of the pain that my sister and my cousin and even my cousin went through. Your relationship break ups is nothing.
So this day, a year older, I do have amazing family friends and I still count. I keep telling myself that I don’t need that many friends or even any friends at all. If you followed me on here and see what I’ve done, I did everything alone, independent. I’m more wise than I was last year. Besides I have friends internationally that I still keep in touch with. So when I’m at home I do my own thing. I get things done, try to stay healthy, do 10Ks try to help raise awareness for cancer, and save my energy to travel and see the world. That’s my therapy. So my birthday was intimate, with close friends with laughs and just fun. Followed by the 10K race the Saturday after, then flew off to Mexico for a week where I met some great people out there. I’m very social so it is no problem for me to go out there and make more friends, but at my age I just don’t have that energy anymore. I still have people that I can count on. However my guard is still up and my trust in people is very limited and I proceed with caution, even with my close friends now, I’m still working on that. Family is always first, and if i don’t have friends. That’s fine. I’ll still continue doing what I’m doing. Trying to make a difference, travel, and at least inspire and bring a smile to peoples face. Happy Birthday.
With a rough couple of months, I finally came at ease. With a new year, a new age, it’s time to make changes for the better. I’ve learned to let go, move on, and realize the finer things in life. At 33, I’m blessed with loved ones that know the meaning of LOVE, FRIENDSHIP, and LOYALTY.
I decided to treat myself for a birthday trip. Originally I was supposed to head to the Caribbean but things had to take a different turn because of vacation time. So I was able to book a last minute trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. When you have that feeling, take it, and pass it on.
The snow melts, the sun slowly comes out and Love is in the air. With Valentine’s Day just a couple of days away I’m going to give you my personal top cities around the world where Cupid and myself can point you in the same direction of his arrow.
I call this part of Hawaii a magical island. From a lovers hike, boat ride to Molokini Crater, dinner and walk along the beach, this will guarantee you a lovers lifetime and something the two of you will never forget. Do not miss the best sunset you’ll ever see to end a magical day holding hands and sharing a Mai Tai.
Cupids Weather Average: High 78F/25C – Lows 60F/14C 78% humidity
Sarentos On The Beach Restaurant 4 star rating (sarentosonthebeach.com)
SAN FRANCISCO CALIFORNIA, USA
People tend to leave their hearts here. At night, the city sparkles if the San Francisco Bay Area fog is not in the way. Hop on a cable car from Market Street down to Fishermans Wharf and walk along the Pier. You will have a 360 degree view of the city’s beautiful lights and both iconic bridges The Golden Gate and Bay Bridge. Have a glass of Chardonnay at the Embarcadero’s Hyatt Hotel while the Piano Maestro serenades you. Have a seat along the waterfront and be sure to offer her your jacket at dusk.
Top of The Mark Restaurant 4 Star Rating (topofthemark.com)
Everything about this stone made city built on water will make you go on your knees and want to say the unforgettable words. There are many cafes along the walk ways where you and your loved one can remake the scene from “Lady and The Tramp” by having a glass of chianti and sharing a plate of pasta. There are no cars along the roadways where you can stroll along the canal holding hands and even enjoy a romantic gondola ride. (George and Amal Clooney got married the same week I was in town, but I misplaced my invitation and was unable to attend.) TI AMO
Ristorante La Caravella. 4.5 Star Rating (ristorantelacaravella.it)
Paris is called the city of love for no reason. Everywhere you go you’re for sure to find some kind of romantic gesture to your loved one or even a complete stranger. That is how beautiful this city is. They have horse caged rides waiting for you right by the Eiffel Tower and can take you anywhere in this city. Stroll along Pont Des Arts and make sure you lock the key to her heart before they take down the bridge wall. But from my understanding the locals still keep locking their hearts along the waterfront.
Winter is coming to a close which means that Spring Break is just around the corner and I’m taking you back to the sun. What I love about the transition of these two seasons is back to the warm weather and of course my BIRTHDAY. I usually like to go somewhere for a birthday trip and I have done that in the past. I’ve been to many different cities in previous years that consisted of beautiful beaches, great food, the night life and even family friendly sites. So I decided to list my top 5 Spring Break getaways that anyone can afford to take a pause from reality and celebrating the hard studying from midterms and term papers. From staying domestic or taking a flight to Mexico, hopefully these cities can give you the break you need.
CABO SAN LUCAS
What I like about Cabo is the majority of their resorts are all inclusive and it is affordable. And the backyard of these resorts are easy access to the beach. And if you want to head into the night life, downtown has a strip of bars and night clubs which is easy access to.
RIU SANTA FE: average hotels per night in March and April $175 a night
LAX to SJD: $350-$400 RT March/APRIL
JFK TO SJD: $400-500 RT MARCH/APRIL
Growing up watching MTVs Spring Break is probably one of the best TV rituals I had every year during spring break being a 80s and 90s child. My TV was on MTV all day when my parents would leave my sister and brother at home dreaming that we can be there under age partying with Notorious BIG, USHER and No Doubt. Until this day, Cancun has the all around effect for a perfect relaxation, let loose party until you drop with the MTV spring breakers, and even great sight seeing tourist attractions which can you bring the whole family to (Chicken Itza-Mayan Ruins, Xcaret, etc.)
All Inclusive Resorts Average: $200-$500/night – March and April
Hotel Casa Maya 4 star resort: $131/night
JFK to CUN flight average: $489-$600 RT March/April
LAX to CUN flight average: $400-$500 RT March
LAX to CUN Flight Average: $280-$520 RT April
Aeromexico RT: $285 with One Stop
My favorite city and I love to call this place my second home. My family and friends know how crazy I am over the 305. This city brings a whole lot of international and latin flavor from food to music, which I’m in love with. No matter where you go, south florida is the hot spot. Whether you want to party with the beautiful people in south beach, check out the arts district in downtown miami, or just even relax in Ft. Lauderdale, the south florida area has it all.
Ft. Lauderdale to Miami is 28 miles 45 kilometers from each other about a 40 minute drive on the I-95.
LAX to MIA $295-$450 RT/MARCH
LAX to MIA $247-$450 RT/APRIL
JFK to MIA $228-$550 RT/MARCH
JFK to MIA $216-$550 RT/APRIL
4 star hotel average $200-$650/night in MARCH
4 star hotel average $160-$500/night in April
What I love about this city is that it is a great place to relax with a beautiful scenery. If people ask me what they think of Puerto Vallarta, I tell them it is probably similar to Hawaii in my opinion but a lot more affordable. You can do a lot of the similar things like hike, lay on the beach, and have dinner and drinks with the tourists and locals. People here are very friendly and approachable.
LAX to PVR $320-$430 RT/March and April
JFK to PVR $560-740 RT/March and April
4 star hotel average $50 to $320/night in March
4 star hotel average $21 to $226/night in April
This part of the entry may be a little biased since I’m a true California West Coast guy and I live in Los Angeles, but in all honesty, you really can’t beat the many things you can do out here. My family and I used to road trip from the San Francisco Bay Area to Southern California almost every spring break. The weather is perfect and within 100-200 miles/160-320 kilometers distance away from each other you can go from Santa Barbara to Los Angeles to San Diego all in a matter of a week if you are really good with time management and money. No matter the age from your terrible twos to over the hill, you’ll always be a kid at heart by making a stop in Disneyland. And also, don’t forget the many entertainment sites you can see on Hollywood and Highland, and even stroll along Santa Monica Pier while watching the sunset on an average of 70 degree weather from sunrise to sunset.
SFO to LAX $160 to $250 RT/March and April
JFK to LAX $350 to $510 RT/March and April
4 star average Disneyland Hotels $80 to $400/night in March.
4 star average Disneyland Hotels $60 to $350/night in April